African Youth SDGs Summit has joined organisations around the world to call on governments to step up and take real action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. Current trends show we are worryingly off track and governments have to act now if we want to ensure the Global Goals can really help to deliver a just, peaceful and sustainable world for all by 2030.
Freya Seath, Restless Development’s Global Advocacy Manager, who attended the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations in July, said:
‘The many reports and meetings at the High Level Political Forum have clearly shown that nearly 5 years in, we are way off track when it comes to achieving the SDGs.
“The skills and knowledge of young people as key partners to help deliver these Goals is repeatedly overlooked. We know governments can not meet these targets alone, and Restless Development works with young people who are already actively implementing, monitoring and advocating to ensure the SDGs are achieved by 2030.
“But we need strengthened and more meaningful partnerships across our societies that will act together with urgency, which is why Restless Development is joining organisations around the world to demand greater ambition as part of the Stand Together Now mobilisation.
“The Stand Together Now mobilisation is formed from a broad alliance of civil society organisations came together to demand greater ambition from governments as they plan for key UN Summits in September.”
The joint declaration comes from organisations including Action for Sustainable Development, ACT Alliance, ActionAid, Amnesty International, CAN, CIVICUS, CPDE, GCAP, Greenpeace, Oxfam and Restless Development.
“Stand Together Now for a Just, Peaceful and Sustainable World. We are standing alongside many others around the world in calling out a state of emergency. Humanity cannot afford to wait, people are demanding transformative change, and we are not willing to accept the current lack of action and ambition from many governments.”
Inequality is rising, with the 26 richest billionaires now owning as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the planet’s population. The climate emergency is worsening, with the United Nations saying we could have just 11 years left to limit a climate change catastrophe. A global crackdown on human rights means that only 43 UN member states are currently meeting their commitments to uphold the fundamental civic freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
At the same time, the majority of countries that have signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are not making the progress needed to avert a global break down.
Emmanuel Ametepey, from Youth Advocates Ghana and African Youth SDGs Summit, said:
“The drive to reach the SDGs is careering off course. Just four years ago all UN member states signed-up to a radical new agenda by 2030.”
“Ten years might sound like enough time, but we are already falling badly behind. Young people are ready to take the lead.”
Oli Henman, Coordinator of Action for Sustainable Development, said:
“We have been working together over recent years to ensure that national organisations can be heard by the UN during the Voluntary National Reviews, however we see real challenges in many countries including reducing engagement opportunities, limited consultation and in a number of cases increasing attacks against civil society organisations.”
Over the coming months organisations will be stepping up their joint actions and will stand together in a joint Global Week of Action from 20-27 September, with key mobilisations planned in over 30 countries.